News

Ikea to Open Ikea Museum

by Jillian Steinhauer on May 12, 2014

The flagship Ikea story in  Älmhult, Sweden (photo by Christian Koehn, via Wikimedia)

The flagship Ikea story in Älmhult, Sweden (photo by Christian Koehn, via Wikimedia)

For many of us, visiting Ikea is basically like having a nightmare: it’s terrifying while it’s happening, and when it’s over, you never want to think about it again. But fear not, brighter times are on the horizon: the Swedish retail giant is opening a museum dedicated to itself. Because capitalism!

The American Apparel booth at NADA New York (photo by Hrag Vartanian for Hyperallergic)

The American Apparel booth at NADA New York (photo by Hrag Vartanian for Hyperallergic)

The Ikea museum will be located at the site of the company’s first store, in Älmhult, Sweden. Michele Acuna, managing director of the site, told the Telegraph that the company hopes to draw 200,000 visitors to the 2015 opening: “Despite the seemingly mundane nature of flat-pack furniture, Acuna said she was confident the museum would appeal to tourists. ‘We have seen that there is a lot of interest in our history of 70 years,’ she said, citing frequent visits from Danish, German, and Dutch travellers.”

Ikea is the latest in a wave of mass retailers trying to get in on the art and culture game. Last week during the art fairs in New York, Gap set up Gap Lounge (no “the”) at Frieze, while American Apparel finagled a booth at NADA (and was also selling NADA merch at their shops, like the one in Williamsburg). Ikea is playing less to the art crowd but still angling for cultural cachet, and if they do ever decide to bring in artists, I hope they’ll start with Guy Ben-Ner. In the meantime, let’s all ponder whether everything sold in the Ikea Museum gift shop will be DIY assembly.

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